Soil Ecology Restoration Group

last update April 8, 1998

Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area

Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) is located in the Colorado Desert approximately 144 kilometers northeast of San Diego in both Imperial and San Diego counties. It is approximately 17,315 hectares in size and is bordered on the north by Anza Borrego State Park, on the south by Highway 78, on the east byPoleline Road and on the west by the Borrego Mountains. Most of the users of the recreation area come from the San Diego and Coachella Valley areas.

We have been contracted to establish and conduct the initial surveying of a set of long term vegetation and wildlife monitoring plots with the goal of collecting and analyzing data to gain an understanding of species habitat requirements, delineate remaining habitat and help effectively manage the recreation area. Animal species using the area need to be identified and habitats designated for long term monitoring, location and movements of wildlife noted and tracked, and possible effects of vehicular activity identified on both vegetation and wildlife. Additionally, monitoring protocols need to be established for long term tracking of both wildlife populations and vegetation communities and recreation area personnel trained in these procedures.

We are establishing a series of sites to serve as long term monitoring plots within the various vegetation communities found within the recreation area's boundaries. On each of these sites a detailed analysis of the vegetation community will be conducted, including both perennial and annual species. Small and large mammal population will be analyzed through standard mark and recapture methods and line transect trapping. The use of installed remote activated cameras near heavy activity areas will also betested. Reptile populations will be analyzed using line transects and time constraint searches during both daylight and nighttime periods. Bird populations will be analyzed through the use of the variable circular transect method. Recreation area personnel will be trained in all aspects of surveying and data analysis. All data will be mapped and provided to SVRA personnel in Arc-Info GIS format.

Serg is conduction various surveys for: